Brandy (also known as cognac or armagnac, depending on where it comes from) is wine that has been distilled and then aged in wood barrels. Beware the cheaper varieties though, as they tend to have added caramel coloring to mimic the aging process.
The Pros and Cons of Distillation
Distilled wine is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, wine is generally one of the best sources of alcohol we can safely indulge in, since it provides a healthy source of antioxidants. On the other hand, the distillation process eliminates those beneficial antioxidants.
The Benefits of Wood Aging
If you go with brandy that has been aged in wood barrels though, the wood may be able to convey antioxidants to the alcohol. All the more reason to go for the good stuff that has been properly aged, rather than the varieties that have had caramel coloring added. Caramel coloring is nothing more than sugar and can have a lot of the same anti-nutrient effects as cane sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, so we recommend avoiding it when you can.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re better off avoiding alcohol altogether, but if you’re at a point where you’re simply maintaining your weight and you want to indulge in the occasional spirit, Mark Sisson has a guide to the best and worst alcoholic drinks to indulge in on a low-carb diet.